When you are looking for a new position and presenting yourself and your work to a diverse group of audiences, how do you connect with them? How do you engage them throughout your portfolio presentation? What are the ah-ha moments they will remember while they are making their hiring decision? These are some of the fundamental questions you need to consider before designing your portfolio.

The best way to answer some of these questions is through storytelling. …

Good design starts with good planning
Good design starts with good planning
Source: Pexels

A goal without a plan is just a wish”- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Planning is essential to ensure we are making progress. But, in design, it is rarely practiced in a way to make the design team successful. In most cases, the focus of planning goes into delivering the feature in agreed-upon delivery time by upper management, which usually results in inferior quality products with a burned-out team.

Next time you get a project. Take a pause and probe to understand it better. …

FOG research and design method.

FOG research and design method.
FOG research and design method.
Source: Pexels

Collaboration is critical for any product’s success, but ensuring we are making decisions based on facts is equally important. This is even more critical for startups, as mistakes could be expensive.

We all have our stories working with people full of opinions and guesses. Let me tell you a story from my past experience with a project. This was a pretty exciting project. The product manager, the engineering lead, and my team worked on concepts, validation, and getting all the design details for the team to start building the product. But, like in every story, there is a bad guy, let’s call him John. John thinks he knows better than others, and if you don’t do what he says, he would say you are not taking feedback and would make lots of noise. Then his boss, let’s call him Sam. Sam’s agenda is just to release the features and put a checkmark. He says he does not like designers because they bring more work. If you develop anything innovative or solve a problem through creative interaction, he would make sure that it is out of scope. The team would spend hours and hours on arguments and counter-arguments. …

Image for post
Image for post

What do you do when you are in charge of UX for a team or company where engineers play a significant role in making product and design decisions? In some cases, they think of UX team is only responsible for the “Look and Feel” of the product. What can you do to influence them and work with them to advance the technology and product to solve real-life problems?

First, let’s understand why specific organizations do not understand the value of UX.

  1. Cultural issues
  2. Lack of education

If the leadership does not value UX or does not understand UX’s role in shaping the product, you have a bigger problem. Either you need an influential design leader to stand for the work you do or, you have to do the groundwork to bring a significant cultural shift in the company. …

An image showing people working together.
An image showing people working together.
Source: Pexels

Alex Osborn, in 1950 claimed [5] that brainstorming should enhance creative performance by almost 50% compared to individuals working on their own. Researchers have contested his findings for the last six decades. They have found very little evidence for the idea that brainstorming produces more or better ideas than the same number of individuals would produce working independently. [1]

A meta-analytic review of over 800 teams indicated that individuals are more likely to generate a higher number of original ideas when they don’t interact with others. — Harvard Business Review

A lone thinker comes with a better idea

To come up with great ideas, one must first spend time getting a deeper understanding of the problem space, observing how people are currently finding a workaround, researching how others have solved similar problems, and finding out how this is impacting the business. Brainstorming without these background information will understandably produce poor results. …

Image of a boy with colors in his hand.
Image of a boy with colors in his hand.
Credit: Sharon McCutcheon

According to a 2016 CDC study, there are staggering 1 in 54 children in the US has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). While significant efforts have been made in the area of visual, hearing, and mobility disabilities, much less attention is paid to designs to accommodate for ASD.

Before addressing designs for people with ASD, first, we must know a few things about ASD. ASD s not a disability, many famous personalities who many consider being in the spectrum had great success in life [4] such as

  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Comedian Dan Aykroyd
  • Britain’s Got Talent singing sensation Susan…

With all of us working from home due to the pandemic, we are at a point where remote collaboration is just becoming a norm. The problem brings opportunity, so we must take this opportunity to make remote collaboration even more efficient using great online tools. In my previous post, I discussed using MURAL or Miro to create UX Blueprint to deliver your spec. In this article, I will explore how you can efficiently collaborate using UX Blueprint.

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UX Blueprint on MURAL

Brainstorming

In a traditional meeting room, we meet with others in-person and brainstorm to get a common consensus. At the same time, this is an excellent way of getting things done; it has lots of limitations. For example, it is hard to set up an in-person meeting that works for everyone, and even if you manage to get one, it is hard to ensure everyone gets a voice, and not the big elephant in the room does all the talking. …

Title image: man celebrating
Title image: man celebrating

As a designer, artist, inventor, we love our design. After all, we have given our hearts and soul to the design. We have done everything we could to make it the best, and we want everyone to say they love it.

Now, let me tell you my story when I was in my undergrad Architecture program. I was in my third year of the program, and I was working on my final design project of designing for a residence. Like all other students, I was working day and night in getting all the designs done, do all the rendering of the design sheets, and creating a cardboard model with all the details in it. …

Designing better form
Designing better form

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know while designing a form to make it beautiful, scalable, and accessible.

Pattern

Depending on real estate available on the page, type of tasks, and form factors, you will need to select a form pattern that works best for your user. Here are two patterns we will be discussing in detail.

Side-by-side pattern layout

A leader generating a concept with the team and showing the vision.
A leader generating a concept with the team and showing the vision.

We work on designs almost every day, and we use different design methods to make the design usable, aesthetically appealing, and likable. But, many times, those well-crafted designs fail to reach a level to become market differentiator or innovative. One of the reasons is the lack of investment in the core of the product “the concept.”

A concept is the “soul” of your product. A product without a strong concept is like a human without a soul.

Dr. Larry Barrow, former professor of Mississippi State University, Design Research Lab, came up with the design process of Zero Dimension (0D) to Fourth Dimension (4D). In his master’s class, he taught the students how to take concepts such as fire, wind, water, flight, etc. and transform them into beautiful architecture. Below is an example of a project where I took the noun “flight,” and using the design process created a building representing the concept flight. …

About

Lalatendu Satpathy

Design Director @ SAP | Architect | Writer for UX Collective and The Startup

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